Globally, the second most polluting industry is fashion.

This alarming information appeared in Stacey Dooley Investigates ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secrets’ (BBC, 2018). Since then, I’ve gained a growing awareness to the state of the environment and the particular effect the fashion industry is having on it. After reading various sources, I’ve accumulated my own list of ways I can help alleviate the problem.

1. Don’t Throw Unwanted Clothes Away.

As tempting as it is to throw away old clothes- 3/4 of Britons do (Perry, 2018). It’s much better for the environment to take those garments to a charity shop or re-use them. Is it necessary it goes in the bin? Or is there a creative way it could get a new life? For me- on a fashion degree- any extra material can always be cut up and used in some way.

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Figure 1- An example of my work, re-using a curtain.

2. Awareness of Where to Shop.

Do we always know the ethics of a store when we’re shopping in it? Of course not. But 5 minutes of research can give a plethora of information on where a store stands on sustainability. It seems simple, but I want to be supporting the brands that understand how important it is to be aware of the environmental state and be positively contributing to the issue. For example, & Other Stories have a ‘Textile Recycling‘ solution to help minimise the effect of fashion on the environment (& Other Stories, 2019).

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Figure 2- & Other Stories top.

3. Quality of Clothes.

One of the main features of fast fashion is the price, clothes are more often than not on the cheaper side. Which in turn, happens to also be a downfall of the industry, the better the price, the more we buy. But we’re forgetting the garments aren’t as durable. I’ve always tried to make a conscious effort to save my money, to be able to buy the clothes I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of.

4. Shop When and as Needed.

If we all stopped falling for the next fast fashion deals, brands would have to listen to consumers. Production would slow down and there wouldn’t be as much waste going to landfill. By decreasing our shopping habits, we’d only be purchasing items when we needed them. Ideally, with less demand, designers could focus their energy on how to use less fabric for multiple garments.

5. Washing Polyester Fabrics in Bags

For £5.99 you can buy a set of laundry bags from Amazon. Washing polyester fabrics in bags, stops the microfibers coming off the fabric. Ultimately, when this happens the microfibers add to the already astonishing amount of plastic in our oceans and affects the sea life.

If we all just started one of these points, we’d be making a difference.


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